Here on the Common our varied range of habitats offer home and haven to a vast array of plants and animals. Our species lists have painstakingly been recorded by amateur, expert and keen enthusiasts over many, many years. One survey in 2010 found nearly 500 invertebrate species with over 100 species of beetle including the fearsome looking but harmless stag beetle which can often be seen on warm evenings in early summer. Damselflies can be numerous at the Beverley Brook while the larger dragonflies can be seen hunting over the meadows. The Common hosts good populations of butterflies including the small copper and gatekeeper. Do cast your eyes to the tops of one of our many oaks and you may be rewarded with a fleeting glimpse a purple hairstreak!
Our Species Lists are a constant work in progress and your feedback and reported sightings are so important, as this helps us to create comprehensive and accurate records. Information is recorded as it is received, with lists are updated on the website quarterly. Please let us know what you see – we look forward to hearing from you! You may also find more comprehensive information for Greater London at GiGL (Greenspace Information for Greater London).
We hope it may also be helpful to higher education and post graduate researchers. Please get in touch if you would like more details.
Lists currently under construction: Fungi, Invertebrates, Insects.
It’s hard to imagine Barnes Common was once known as ‘The Waste’. Plantlife abounds throughout the Common. Indicator species for our nationally scarce lowland acid grassland (LAG) habitat include sheep’s sorrel, which forms the distinctive reddish carpet in spring, lemony yellow mouse-ear hawkweed, cat’s-ear and heath bedstraw. The tiny but very pretty little birdsfoot can be found on some of the sand hills, whilst the scrubby and endearing little Burnet rose has been known on the Common for over 300 years. We understand it is found nowhere else in London, and is our chosen logo.
Higher nutrient grassland areas host a coarser but colourful array. Keep your eyes open for lady’s bedstraw, ox-eye daisies, vetches, trefoils, tansy, hawkweeds and willowherbs. In our reedbed and wetter areas it isn’t too difficult to spot lady’s smock, purple loosestrife, meadowsweet, marsh marigold and coltsfoot. Download the plant species list here.
Robins and wrens are regulars throughout the Common, whilst our blue and great tits seek the seclusion of more wooded areas. In a quiet moment, you can see and hear up to 20 pairs of long-tailed tits enjoying our gorse patches and our little flock of starlings has swelled to over 20! The Common supports good numbers of song and mistle thrush, and blackbird. Regularly breeding summer migrants include blackcap and chiffchaff. Spring migrants include willow warblers and our Scandinavian winter visitors such as Redwing always enjoy our holly berries!
Birds of prey include tawny owl, kestrel, and sparrowhawk. Buzzards can be seen soaring high, and the hobby glimpsed searching out dragonflies during summer. The great spotted woodpecker drums loudly in early spring and our ‘Yaffle’ frequents our LAG ant hills, feeding on their occupants! Download the bird species list here.
During the season, weekly transects are walked across the Common. More info can be found here
Download the butterfly species list here
Download the damsels and dragons species list here.
Barnes Common has recorded over 70 species of trees – some native, some invasive, some under threat from disease, dogs or human impact – in particular Ash, Elm and Horse Chestnut. Download the tree species list here.
In 2019 we set up several Audiomoths (static recording devices) across the common for a few weeks in Autumn. These devices picked up seven bat species across various habitats of the common. This included a new species to the common, the brown long- eared bat. The common is clearly an important foraging and potential roosting site for numerous bats. It is important that we try to minimise light pollution within and around the edges of the common as this can effect the behaviour of the bats and deter them from important feeding sites, such as the Beverley brook. Species recorded to date can be found here